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Brazil to increase ethanol blend level to 25 percent

By Erin Voegele | March 06, 2013

The government of Brazil has published an official notice to increase the mandatory blend level of anhydrous ethanol to 25 percent, effective May 1. The current blend level is set at 20 percent. According to the document, the resolution was made on Feb. 28 by the president of the Council Interministerial Sugar and Alcohol (CIMA).

Brazil’s current 20 percent blend level has been in place since late 2011. Beginning Oct. 1 of that year, the 25 percent blend mandate was reduced to 20 percent due a poor cane harvest. The blend level was expected to return to 25 percent once sugarcane production recovered, which it now has.

The most recent press release issued by the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association UNICA notes that the amount of sugarcane processed by mills in Brazil’s south-central region reached 531.35 million tons from the start of the 2012-’13 season through the end of 2012. When compared data from the prior year, UNICA said the crush increased by 7.74 percent. However, the cane was of slightly lower quality, with total recoverable sugars down by 1.39 percent. During the same timeframe, 50.38 percent of all processed sugarcane was used to produce ethanol, down slightly from the 51.56 percent from the prior season.